Alaska Governor Wants Trump to Back LNG Pipeline
Alaska Governor Bill Walker has asked President Donald Trump to support a $45 billion gas pipeline as part of a proposed $1 trillion plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
In a letter addressed to Trump, Walker proposed financing the megaproject with a federal tax exemption and a $40 billion federal loan guarantee. He also asked for less federal oversight over the project and allowing the state more control.
The Alaska LNG project proposes to transport natural gas off the North Slope by pipeline, liquefy it at a factory in Nikiski, and ship it in tankers to Asian buyers. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would consider buying more energy from the US.
In his letter to the president, Walker described a project with over 800 miles of pipeline, 647,000 tons of steel and compressors, with many components built in the US. He said the pipeline would directly employ 10,000 people over the five years of construction and would create “a multi-year national economic boon.” Walker also noted the project could help with US energy security and help with the US trade deficit with Japan and other countries in the “geopolitically significant Asia-Pacific.”
“As you seek to rebuild our country and make critical investments in our future,” Walker wrote, “Alaska stands ready to assist with an ideal infrastructure project of major national and international significance.”
Trump has said he will ask Congress to approve a bill that will lead to $1 trillion in spending—involving public and private investments—to rebuild aging national infrastructure such as roads and bridges. The Alaska project would not be a rebuild, so it’s unclear whether it would fit Trump’s infrastructure vision. Also, any infrastructure bill—which has yet to be written or introduced in Congress—would provoke a major debate over how it is to be financed.
The Trump administration had yet to respond to the letter and its unclear whether project will receive the administration’s backing. But it’s well know that the president likes huge projects and the Alaska LNG pipeline certainly qualifies on that score.